Marketing Myopia

Essay by hopia February 2005

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In this article, Theodore Levitt broadened the marketing concept by probing the history of industries which failed and are doomed to fail. According to the studies he made, firms go out of business because they took the customer and the market for their products for granted. He defined a firm's "business", its purpose, must not be static but must be constantly changing as the society and its needs change. There are three points of view that he emphasized in the subject of marketing myopia. These notions, nonetheless contrary to common beliefs are: shadow of obsolescence, production pressures and the dangers of research and development.

His first argument is the shadow of obsolescence. According to his argument, there is no such thing as a growth industry, only companies organized to take advantage of growth opportunities. In line with this, there are four danger signs that tell if an industry may have already been blinded by their known philosophy.

The first is the belief that growth is assured by an expanding and more affluent population. If the population increases and more people patronize your goods or services, it does not mean that you will have a sustainable growth. The next is the belief that there is no substitute. We live in an ever changing world where a lot of people work to improve people's lives thus limiting our belief that there is no possible substitute for a particular product or service is disagreeable. The third danger sign is having too much faith in mass production and in the advantages of rapidly declining unit costs as output rises. Too much faith in mass production and in the advantages of rapidly declining unit costs as output rises, only leads to the imbalance of attention pertaining to production as opposed to marketing of the...